Alphabetical Plant Listing

Lathyrus vestitus (Pacific Pea)

Pacific Pea, Wild Sweet Pea, Canyon Pea, San Diego Sweet Pea, Wild Sweet Pea, Bolander's Pea, Pacific Peavine, San Diego Pea


Lathyrus vestitus (Pacific Pea) is an evergreen perennial vine boasting racemes of up to 15 pea flowers in shades of bright violet to pale purple to white from early spring to late summer. Sometimes densely packed together, the delightfully grape-scented blossoms attract butterflies and moths. The showy flowers are borne on long twining stems clad with small, green, veined leaflets terminating in one or more tendrils which help anchor the plant. They give way to pea pods that split open when ripe to release their spherical seeds. Pacific Pea will ramble along the ground or climb up nearby vegetation or support structures. The roots spread quickly and help anchor loose soil, preventing erosion. Easy to grow, Pacific Pea is native to western North America, where it is mostly found in the forests, woodlands, and chaparral of California. A good choice for covering a fence or a trellis, Pacific Pea requires little care and is dry shade tolerant.

  • Grows up to 3-8 ft. tall (90-240 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). 
  • Loves full sun or partial shade in mesic, sandy, clay loam, neutral to slightly alkaline, well-drained soils. Drought tolerant once established.
  • Ideal to sprawl along the ground or twine onto support structures. Great for beds, borders, containers, or as ground cover for banks and slopes.
  • Propagate by seed. No treatment.
  • No serious disease or pest issues.
  • The seeds can be toxic to humans and animals if ingested.
  • Native to western North America from Washington to northern Baja California, generally below 5000 feet. It seems to prefer the damper areas in coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and oak woodlands.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 10
Plant Type Climbers, Perennials
Plant Family Lathyrus - Sweet Peas
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 3' – 8' (90cm – 240cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Arbors, Pergolas, Trellises, Ground Covers, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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Joe Decruyenaere, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 10
Plant Type Climbers, Perennials
Plant Family Lathyrus - Sweet Peas
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 3' – 8' (90cm – 240cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Arbors, Pergolas, Trellises, Ground Covers, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

Guides with Lathyrus - Sweet Peas

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